I will need the depth, location and water clarity to assess your situation,,
your doing great man, you may be thinning them out. ha , , fish tend to move alot in creek and river systems,, they are following the bait around,, find the bait, find the fish.. they may leave that creek to spawn in the main lake and are in there mostly to feed. If they disappear completely, find some cover or structure right near the mouth of the creek and try there. if no bueno, find the first signifigant depth change out from the mouth of the creek. if theres a small drop off, a foot or two breakline, they may spawn right on the drop off. they dont always spawn on cover if the bottom is right.. dont be afraid to try depths all the way to 16 feet. the first thing u may think is they have spawned and are recovering now,, then when u clean them, u will see they are still egg laden.
Livescope is proving what ive been saying for years, many fish spawn deeper than most would believe. I see many people using livescope, catching crappie on deeper cover, and they STILL dont get it.. the old myth that they are moving in and out, and staging is so engrained in thier minds, from generations of people repeating the same myth, they cant get past it. Most of the crappie will move out deeper to spawn, this is why they just seem do dissapear in a day or two,., gone.. now think abt it, if they were spawning in these shallow locations, and the females went in on a full moon night , dropped thier cargo, and went out deeper to recover, shouldnt the males still hang around for alot longer to gaurd the beds? they are gone too.
the theory of the crappie moving in and out of spawn areas due to cold fronts is not due to the water temp change causing them to leave , they are following baitfish schools in and out, that are very sensitive to temp and barometric pressure changes.. shad are very delicate and sensitive to water temp fluctuations and water nutrient content, and oxygen content , thats why they are almost always on the move. crappie are not affected much by water temp changes. they can spawn in very cold conditions. a study was done years ago, on how crappie adapt and react to cold water conditions, and they are one of the most adaptive and resilent freshwater gamefish around. they have a unique ability to self regulate thier internal temp even though as a species they are considered cold blooded..
My advise would be, only consider water temp in terms of where the baitfish will be. in winter, shad go deep and crappie follow. at around 50 to 54 degrees the shad die. also pay attention to cormorant, gull and tern locations as well as where the wind blows plankton into during the day. the shad will hang around those areas in deeper water, and move in at night to feed. the crappie will follow, and stage right near those areas the next morning.